Monday, April 21, 2008

Goodbye Gorgeous Pearls? Global Warming Curbs Jewelry Production

Yesterday, Gulf News reported that a gorgeous natural pearl necklace belonging to iconic Arab singer Umm Kalthoum, was up for sale at Christies for between $80,000 and $120,000. This necklace is astoundingly detailed with over 1800 pearls strung in multiple strands. Exceptional jewelry sourced from the sea begs the question, as global temperature increases and sea level rises, what will happen to oysters and pearls?

Warmer water means harmful barnacles flourish and attack the pearl producing oysters. In Mynmar, the Andaman Pearl Company lost about 90,000 oysters in 2006 as a result of the warmer water.

Myanmar possesses about 15,907 square miles of pearl-producing waters. The country produced more than 400,000 South Sea pearls in the 2006-07 financial year. The Andaman Sea temperature off the coast of Myanmar has risen to 87.7 degrees Fahrenheit in April 2007 from 84.2 degrees Fahreneheit at around the same time in 2006, according to Myanmar Atlantic figures.

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